KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL MEETING
Our gospel meeting is almost here. Since we are having to spend the Lordís money to have one and invest the time to have it we should be very interested in it being as successful as it can be. When Phil comes, he will be prepared to preach lesson that will make think and will challenge you to life a more a righteous life. His lessons will no doubt appeal to the nonchristian as well.
He could have some the greatest lessons every taught that would change the lives of others, but if we do not do our part in inviting people to come, then his opportunity to use Godís Word to change people will be a failure because no one will be here to listen to it.
So, we play a huge part in the success or failure of our meeting.
To help motivate you to understand the importance of a gospel meeting, let us first begin to look at the purpose of a gospel meeting.
The first purpose of our meeting is to evangelize, that is to reach out to the lost and invite them to hear Godís Word proclaimed so they can get to know Jesus, much like Philip invited Nathanael to come meet Jesus in Jn. 1:45.†
The gospel is to proclaimed to everyone. We learn this in the great commission and we see this principle taught by Paul as well:
Romans 1:14† I am a debtor both to Greeks and to
barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.† 15
So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are
Our meeting gives us this great opportunity to have other hear the life changing message of the gospel. We have got remember that our duty as Christians is to reach out to the lost and give everyone the chance to have faith in God. Until people hear the good news they can never have faith in God.
Romans 10:17 †So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
A second purpose for our meeting is for our members and other brethren from other areas to be edified.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,† 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
When assemble each day for the meeting it will give you spiritual booster shoot that will wake you up and help remove any luke-warmness from your life. When you see other brothers and sister in Christ from other areas coming to hear the Word of God proclaimed it encouraging to know that you are not alone because others love the Lord just like you and they want to see Godís kingdom grow.
Of course the only way that you can be edified by the experience is by being here and having that right attitude about it while you are here.
In order for meeting to have the greatest success we must prepare for it and we only have one week left until it is here. A lack of preparation can kill a meeting. We can understand this basic rule because a lack of preparation will make any event fail. For example when I preach lesson to you guys a lot of preparation goes into it. I do not just wake up on Sunday morning and open my Bible to a passage and say, ďThis, is preach from this morning.Ē Since I have do have some experience behind me, I could probably preach somewhat of a lesson by doing that, but I can promise it would be one the worse sermons I have preached. In order for lesson to work well, it needs to thought out and well organized, otherwise it will be a lesson full of ramblings.
In the same way, if we want out meeting to go well and be uplifting then we must prepare for it.
Another key to a successful meeting is considering who our prospects are. Our prospects are directly related to the two-fold purpose of our gospel meeting.
Again, our first purpose is to evangelize. So, this means that anyone who does not know the Lord or has not obeyed Godís plan of salvation is a prospect. Of course this includes your friends, family members, and neighbors. We need to get busy inviting these folks to attend our meeting. If necessary, we need to provide transportation for them. If those we invited come to one night of our meeting do not be satisfied with that. Instead, go up to them and encourage them to back again tomorrow night. You will be surprised at how many will come back again if they are simply asked.
To go along with the second purpose of our meeting, which is edifying one another, the prospects are us and all our fellow brothers and sisters in other congregations. Every Christian needs to be encourage and uplifted.
So, the prospects are endless. As Jesus said:
John 4:35 "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!† 36 "And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.† 37 "For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.'† 38 "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."
In context, Jesus has taught the Samaritan woman that He was the Messiah and from that she went throughout her city telling people about Jesus and many of them came to Him, were taught, and believed. So, we cannot say, we no one that we could invite.
I have already alluded to our next point, but I want to stress how important it is that we be here at our own gospel meeting. Whether you realize it or not your presence make huge difference because when you choose not attend it can demoralizing, just as the absence of Titus depressed Paul:
2 Corinthians 2:12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord,† 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.
We might think that our presence is not important, but we would be wrong. Empty seats have a way of affecting the moral of your fellow Christians. It can also be discouraging to the speaker. It can also affect the visitors. I still have never forgot one year when a visitor came and asked me where a certain member was because they invited them, but I had to tell them I do not know. Think about the message that left with that visitor.
However, when we each make an effort to be here, it is very encouraging because it shows your zeal for God, and your zeal will become contagious. When people see your excitement for serving the Lord and being around your brethren it will cause them excited about it too. I cannot stress it enough; make our gospel meeting your priority.
Invariable some will make excuses of why they cannot make it, which reminds of the parable of the great supper in:
Luke 14:15 Now
when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to
Him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the
For some, any excuse will do to miss our services. Unless you have a legitimate reason such as having to work, or being sick, or having to be out of town and so on, there is no valid excuse for you to miss. Sometimes we become so self-centered in what we want instead of thinking about what God wants that we will take care of our own frivolous needs instead of trying to make a difference in Godís kingdom.
I know that I am thankful that God does not have the attitude that we have sometimes. Could you imagine having a self-centered God who thought more about Himself and cared very little about others. Imagine how different the events would have been for Elijah in 1 Kings 18 when he faced off with the prophets of Baal. If will remember he was having contest to see who the true God was by seeing which God would burn up the bull first. If you will remember, Elijah watched these false prophets call out their God and even cut themselves trying to get his attention. He even mocked them saying:
1 Kings 18:27 †"Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened."†††
When Elijah called on God, we know from reading the text that God answered right away and burned up the bull, the water, and the rocks that were there, but if God had the attitude that we do sometimes Elijahís plea would have failed. He would have called on God and then nothing happened and he would not be in better shape than these prophets of Baal. If Elijah asked God why, He might say well, I was to busy doing something else. I didnít have time to help you out with your little contest.
We certainly donít want God making excuses for not being in our life our keeping His promises, so we shouldnít make excuses for not being involved in our gospel meeting when we can be.
Finally, another key to a successful gospel meeting is for us to participate when we are here. We need to make a great effort to get to each service early so that we can greet our visitors. When I say early, I mean at least 20 min early. I know of many of us gotten into a habit of showing up within the last 2 min before services start and some of us struggle to get here on time period, but we have got to be here for our visitors. We will be starting our services on time for the gospel meeting. So, please do your best to get here early to show your enthusiasm and love for the Lord, so that visitors will be encouraged.
I have a sign up sheet for greeters on the bulletin board for the various days of our gospel meeting. The more greeters we can have the better. Please sign up and participate.
Let us also make sure to sit toward the front so that there will be seats available in the back for those visitors that might arrive a few minutes late.
When those who lead the prayers let them come to the front at the microphone so that all hear that are saying.
When we sing, let us sing out and raise the roof because we are praising God and we are teaching and admonishing one another.
When Phil is preaching, we need to pay attention to what He saying and be like a Berean:
Acts 17:11These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
When the service is over do not make b-line out the building. Stick around and enjoy the fellowship. Use your time to talk with the visitors and encourage them to come back. Donít be afraid to extend hospitably to them such as inviting them out to eat or for snack.†
†1 Peter 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
In conclusion, let us approach our gospel meeting with the right attitude and consider its:
When we combine all these things together while praying for a successful meeting it will be the most successful meeting that we can possibly have. It is up to you now. No one can force you to do the right thing, but I hope this lesson will encourage you to do the right thing and give your best to God.